Category Archives: Holidays

Having Ourselves a Very (Decorated) Merry Christmas

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Hello there! I’m taking a break from my salted-caramel-eating, ugly-christmas-sweater-making, carol-singing, old-school-christmas-movie-watching, gift-wrapping week to stop in and share our Christmas decorations! The late-Thanksgiving threw me a bit this year, and I am behind on my gift shopping. ūüėź Normally I have everything in-order a few weeks in advance, but not this year.

This is always a joyous,¬† but slightly harried time of year, and there’s nothing I love more than ending a long day in front of the glowing tree lights with a cup of tea.

We cut down our own tree again this year. Meaning my husband chopped, and I gathered branches for the mantle and cheered “timber!”. designlivelychristmasdecor2The bunting is just burlap triangles I drew on with sharpie and loop-stitched together.

This year we hung exterior wreaths on all the windows. I love it! It’s nice to have decorations outside during the day (when the lights can’t glow) and the wreaths also double as inside decor.

I love seeing them from every room.

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Hanging from the chandelier we have my favorite set of ornaments Рthe 12 days of Christmas. They were given to us by my aunt as an engagement gift. They get lost on the Christmas tree, and I love being able to see them all when we eat. designlivelychristmasdecor3 Again with the (free!) evergreen boughs Рwhich adorn the mantle, the sideboard, and the front porch.  When I was pulling out the decorations this year, I realized I have very little actual Christmas decorations Рplenty of ornaments Рno decor! So I picked up these  wooden trees and moose from Crate & Barrel.  And, like always, my nearly no-sew bunting is hanging.designlivelychristmasdecor5

Yep… still have only hung the one cabinet door. Hopefully this winter we will actually set some time aside to finish installing the cabinet doors, drawer facings and add the hardwear.

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We keep our little fake tree in the dining room. It’s holds all my glittery ornaments. It’s the “bling tree”. You can also see it from the kitchen – which makes me happy!

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I save the Christmas cards we get every year and band them together by year. They all sit in this box on an end table so I can look through them as the years go by.

I made the box from an old cigar box (that happened to say “forget-me-not”) and wired ribbon. ¬† designlivelychristmasdecor8

I made these fun swirly snowflakes this year instead of the usual cut-out ones. I’ll be back later this week with a how-to! They are super easy! (And no tiny paper clippings to pick up!)

christmascardwreathOur Christmas Card Wreath is hanging in the hallway this year  Рsee how you can make one for yourself here.

Last but not least – the porch!designlivelychristmasdecor11The porch is pretty simple – a crock full of evergreen, red berries and some cool snowy looking branches from Michael’s! (yea Christmas sale!)

I’m sure the Amazon Prime delivery guy really appreciates the festive greeting. Because he sure has had to stop at our house quite a bit recently. : )

And of course our wreath. I’ve been debating re-painting the door after we re-sided the house. But I do still love this green color!

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As for me, I’ve been busy baking. And Moose has been busy shoveling – we’ve gotten over 18″ of snow this week!

This morning was one of those breathtakingly beautiful mornings – the kind that make me want to stay in bed all morning.

But Christmas waits for no one. : ) Have yourselves a merry little Christmas.

What’s your favorite Christmas movie? We will be watching Home Alone 1 and 2 this weekend!

Easy DIY Cone Christmas Tree

Easy DIY Cone Christmas Tree - DesignLively

About once a month my friend hosts a girls craft night at her house. Little does she know I’ve been trying to carve out some more time for keeping crafty (i.e. not spackling walls, sanding down dressers, or painting crown molding) so it’s been a great excuse for me to get back into it. Plus, crafting with friends is more fun.

This month we made Christmas trees from cardboard cones! We all ended up giving our projects a different treatment – and I chose white felt for a snowy tree look that I can use all season long.

1. Start with a fiberboard cone (you can get 3 for $10 here). Styrofoam cones would also work. I picked up the white felt from Michael’s for $0.33 a sheet. I ended up using 4 sheets – which makes this an easy $12 project.

2. Paint your cone white. I used an acrylic craft paint.

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Note: If you are DIY renovating your home you will never have nice nails. Ever.
This is the best I can do.

3. While the paint dries, cut out long half-circles from the felt like a mad woman. I used my thumb as a template for the size of the long half-circles as I cut (from knuckle to nail, about 1″ wide).

4. Get out your glue gun and go to town. Start at the bottom and work your way up, layering your half-circles to completely cover up the cone underneath.

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If desired, there are plenty of ways to make this project more Christmas-y (add pom-pom ornaments, use green felt, or (for the daring) glitter!). Like most Christmas decorations I have, I opted to keep this wintery-simple so I can keep it them out all season long.

For now the trees are living in my kitchen, where I have ferociously spent all weekend making Christmas candies as gifts to thank some of the many people who have been such a help to us this year both at work and with our ongoing renovations. We couldn’t do it without them!

How are you getting ready for Christmas? Our tree is up and ready to be enjoyed! Which is where I am off to now : )

A Christmas Roundup: Non-Traditional Nativity Sets


via Birch Craft

Friends, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. We’ve decked-the-halls (which I’ll share next week), and our holiday decor consists mostly of greenery, pinecones and berries. Nary a Santa to be found (in this particular case, I’m very much not my mother’s daughter).

While my general rule for holiday decorations is “seasonal – not specific”, I found myself looking at Nativity Sets earlier this week. Nativity sets are seldom seen in stores, and (to be honest) most of them aren’t really my style. So I took to the internet and found many unique and fun options. While we won’t have one this year, I’m making it my goal to find/make one we love by next year!

For the Minimalist:

While this minimalist Nativity Set by¬† Sebastian Bergne certainly isn’t for everyone, I think it’s pretty cool and would feel right at home in a contemporary home. Plus then there are no creepy painted faces.

For the Color-Lover:

I wish I could find a better image of this Alexander Girard Nativity Set because I love it! The colors, funky ornate patterns and chunky wood blocks are right up my alley.

For the Typophile:

I gave a little chuckle when I came across this modern typographic Oliverfabel Nativity Set.¬† Again, not for everyone, but it’s modern and certainly not your mother’s hand-me-down.

For Kids:

I love this painted rock nativity set by Chipper Studios on Etsy. While there are many felted/stuffed sets that are kid friendly, I think this is a more unique. Plus, with no breakable pieces, it’s okay if the Wise Men are scattered across the living room floor.

For the Outdoorsman:

Another rock set from Unique Nativity Sets! These painted rocks might be a nice touch for those who love the great outdoors. This could even be a fun DIY project, and could be made large or small depending on what size rocks you choose.

For the Do-it-Yourself-er:

I am also loving this DIY Nativity Set by Life Made Lovely via Gracelaced. I’ve seen a lot of peg-people Nativity Sets in my searches, but I think this one with the baker’s twine spools is pretty sweet looking.

For the Pinhead in your Life:

I love this one! Another great Nativity Set from Pegged Etsy Shop. This pinhead Nativity Set is another fun, modern option.

For those Without Storage Space:

Don’t want to store a bunch of little pieces? This wood block nativity scene painting by Color your Dreams Etsy Shop is a lovely alternative to the traditional set.

Do you have a Nativity Set? What does yours look like?

 

Gift Ideas for Graphic Designers (that they might actually use!)

Most “gift ideas for graphic designers” articles are full of lame gifts. They are either totally kitschy (a CMYK mug! a Pantone brand stapler!) or stereotypical (it’s contemporary!¬†something written in Helvetica!). From one graphic designer for another, here’s a round-up of gifts I would actually use/want.

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Gift Ideas for Graphic Designers:

1. Pantone Swatches

I don’t need a Pantone ornament/mug/mousepad/thermos/paintcan. What I do need are Pantone Swatchbooks. Most graphic designers probably don’t have their own set at home. The basic coated and uncoated sets should cover most needs.

2. Tea for One

This idea is kind of a gimme – but still a good one. Designers are at their desk. A lot. It’s always nice to have a fun mug on hand (I personally love this Harry Potter mug from Etsy seller 312INK). Most workplaces supply coffee (hoorah!) but many don’t have a large tea assortment. Along with mug, wrap up a few kind of herbal teas and a nice jar of honey for an afternoon sweet.

3. Tech-y Gift Card

Graphic designers are usually linked to some sort of technology a good deal of the time. An Apple App Store gift card will only feed their tech-frenzy. Plus, there are a lot of great photo-editing and typography apps out there that I would probably never justify buying on my own!

4. A Massage

There are some days that I am working that I literally could sit down at my desk and not get up for 12 hours if it weren’t for basic human needs. Most people in the work force these days are doing a lot of hunched-over-sitting, but designers especially so! Help us regain our posture and relieve muscle tension with a massage.

5. Modern Art History Book

Graphic designers should know and understand the progression of art history and theory. Even after a year of taking art history, I felt like my classes only scraped the surface of art history in the last 200 years. The book What are you looking at? by WIll Gompertz is both entertaining and informative.

6. X-Acto Tool Set and Self-Healing Cutting Mat

Any designer who is creating their own invitations/posters/namecards/print media will need an X-acto Knife set and this Alvin Reversible Self-Healing Cutting Mat Kit to make sure all their edges and corners are straight as an arrow. (You may want to include a metal straight edge too!)

7. Prismacolor Marker Set

You know that feeling when you are a kid and you have a brand-new box of crayons that are perfectly sharpened and untouched. That’s how I feel about markers as an adult. Perfect for sketching or doodling, the Prismacolor marker set is as good as it gets. Prismacolor marker sets can be purchased individually by color or in an assortment of sets. If you go to Michael’s don’t forget your 20% off coupon!

8. Letterpress Class

Where the fundamentals of graphic design really began – on the letterpress. Research local classes and look for a one-day letterpress or printmaking workshop.

9. Membership to an Art Museum

Oftentimes purchasing a membership to an art museum will more than pay off if you go several times through the year – and there are other perks as well! With 2014 coming quickly, consider buying a year-long membership at their favorite museum so they can stop by whenever they want. (A bonus of membership? You don’t feel guilty for only stopping by for an hour or two!)

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all my fellow designers.

Any other graphic designers out there? What would you add to this list?